On 6 August 2014, the Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) hosted the Eighth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Group (AHG) Senior Officials in Canberra, Australia.
In attendance were representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam as well as representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Canada and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) attended the meeting as observers. The Regional Support Office (RSO) Co-Managers also participated in the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress and activities since the 5th Ministerial Conference, held in Bali on 2 April 2013, and to agree on a strategy for 2014 and beyond, including new activities, to further advance regional cooperation through the Bali Process.
- Members endorsed the Bali Process Strategy and its forward program, focused on practical cooperation to strengthen immigration management, refugee protection, border integrity and related legal capacity building and law enforcement measures.
- The policy guides on criminalizing people smuggling and trafficking in persons developed by the RSO received endorsement by members and approval to be submitted to Ministers for further endorsement. Recommendations included developing related training materials and translations of the policy guides into regional languages.
- The partnership between the RSO and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) was marked by the development of a capacity-building program for frontline border officers.
- Members endorsed draft terms of reference for the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, as agreed by Ministers. Australia and Indonesia were appointed as Co-Chairs for the first term. The first meeting was planned for the first half of 2015 in Thailand.
- Members agreed to establish the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks Engaged in Trafficking in Persons and People Smuggling.
- The RSO’s proposals to develop public awareness campaign design guidelines and produce a second set of policy guides on assistance and protection to victims of trafficking were welcomed by members.
- Members agreed to deliver workshops on the immigration aspects of airport security and biometric data-sharing as well as the 6th Technical Experts Working Group on Irregular Movements.
- The RSO was tasked to undertake a review of the Regional Immigration Liaison Officer Network (RILON) activities and support the establishment of RILON in other interested countries.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was granted full membership of the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group.
Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Workshop on Immigration Border Operations Analysis – Bangkok, Thailand, 26-28 May 2014